Would You Like to be Interviewed About Family Travel?

I just spoke with a writer for a national magazine who is looking for first-person stories from family travelers. We thought it might be fun to publish her query here so that she can follow up with (and possibly quote) a few of my readers! Here is what she is looking for:

  1. Families who took a trip that doesn't fit the stereotypical idea of "family travel." Examples might be a spa vacation, a volunteer trip or a pretty active adventure travel trip.
  2. Travel experiences where the hotel or tour operator, etc went way over and beyond what was expected and did something unusual to accommodate the family.
  3. Family travel pet peeves--an example of a hotel or other travel provider that seems to be trying to cater to families, but doesn't quite get it.

If you would like to participate, and possibly be quoted in her article, please leave your answer(s) in comments below. Remember to include your email address where the comment form asks for it so that I can tell her how to follow up with you (your email address will not otherwise be shared or used).

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  1. Marina K. Villatoro on September 23, 2009 at 7:21 a.m.

    Hi, I'd love to be interviewed for this article. I've been traveling with my family throughout Central America for the past 5 years and we have done from the conventional to the super nonconventional with a very small child:
    Rain Forest hikes
    climbing Mayan Ruins
    Volunteer trip for an animal center
    Canopy tours
    all sorts of boat rides and tours
    sports fishing
    rock climbing
    We've traveled with tour operators who have given us private tours of animal sanctuaries that are only for rescue and release
    and a lot more!

    Marina K. Villatoro

  2. Theresa Jorgensen on September 23, 2009 at 7:39 a.m.

    My biggest pet peeve was finding hotels that fit my family of six. The big travel sites just didn't help me find hotels that fit my family's needs. One travel site doesn't even do a search for more than 5!

    I was starting to wonder if I was the only one with more than 3 kids that had trouble finding hotel rooms that could accommodate my family. But I knew that there more families out there like mine.

    That's why I started SixSuitcaseTravel.com. My site lists hotels for families of 5 to 8 in all 50 states and Canada.

  3. Kristy Hall on September 23, 2009 at 7:46 a.m.

    Nontraditional family vacations are my favorite topic.

    The funniest one I have done was last Spring I took my two year old to Bike Week in Daytona Beach. His grandparents (and dedicated Harley riders) were participating in the festivities so we just couldn't miss it!

    A place that really understands what kids and their parents need in a beach vacation:

    Incredible resort in the Mayan Riviera called Azul Hotel & Beach Resort. This resort is on the smaller side (under 100 rooms) compared to its neighbors and is part of Karisma Hotels. The amenities, service and facilities meet both parents and kids needs very nicely. I just finished a review that contains more specifics at: http://www.twoandahalftravelers.com/2...

    Future plans:
    We are preparing for a trip with our son to India in January. After a few years of warming him up we can't wait to start breaking in our son's backpack.

    Hope this is helpful!

  4. Shelly (Travels with Baby) on September 23, 2009 at 11:28 a.m.

    Heheh. Bathing suit optional retreat. With kids.

  5. Glennia/The Silent I on September 23, 2009 at 3:43 p.m.

    We took our then 2-year old on a train trip up to Canada to see the polar bear migration through Churchill, Manitoba. We have also gone on two cruises to view solar eclipses, one to Libya in 2006, and the most recent one to China, Korea, & Japan in 2009.

    We had great experiences with Iguassu Falls Tours in Argentina, and a tour guide in Malta who bent over backwards to get us VIP treatment at the most popular spots with long lines, since our child wouldn't really tolerate standing in line for an hour. The car driver even took him out for ice cream while we enjoyed a beautiful cathedral.

  6. Mara on September 23, 2009 at 7:32 p.m.

    Thirteen months on the road with a one-year-old who became a two-year-old. None of it was adventure travel, but since we stayed in 8 places on 2 continents while our child learned to walk, talk, and eat solid food, I think the experience does not qualify as typical!

    At our hotel in Rome, our son woke up at 4 a.m. every day and the front-desk staff would play with him while my husband sat blearily in a chair and dozed.

  7. Corinne @ Have Baby Will Travel on September 23, 2009 at 7:36 p.m.

    Coming home after our first trip to Cuba (and first trip with baby) my husband's (pre-existing) sinus infection was raging, and he was in so much pain he was afraid he couldn't fly.

    The staff at the first-aid clinic in Varadero airport gave looked after him, and then escorted us upstairs (almost completely bypassing their incredibly stringent security) so we could get to the pharmacy inside the terminal.

    The first-class treatment from the first-aid staff wasn't entirely a surprise, though. Our 11-month-daughter was cooed over constantly, and we were embraced by almost every single person we met there.

  8. Holly on September 23, 2009 at 7:44 p.m.

    We just came back from Iceland where there were few families with children. Stops on our trip included geysers, glaciers, waterfalls, national parks, geothermically heated pools, whale watching.

  9. Maureen Poschman on September 23, 2009 at 8:38 p.m.

    Just returned from 2 weeks in Chile with my twin 4 year old daughters. Portillo, skiing and then Tierra Atacama for adventure.

  10. Regina on September 24, 2009 at 2:39 a.m.

    As a tour operator in Rome, we have seen it all when it comes to travel with children. Our guides have literally carried infants through the Roman Forum in order to give some relief to harried parents! It is very important to ask for family friendly tours, some of the stuffy old guides out there would be annoyed when children ask lots of questions or get impatient!

  11. Emily Rauch on September 24, 2009 at 6:39 a.m.

    Hi! My husband, two-year-old son and I are a little over a month in to a one year, RTW trip that will take us through Japan,China,Vietnam,Cambodia,Thailand,Laos,Nepal,India,Malaysia,Indonesia,Australia,New Zealand and Fiji (we return to Los Angeles in July 2010). We are on a budget, so we're staying in hostels and guesthouses along the way, and trying our best to avoid tour-groups (which happen to be our pet-peeves)! So far, we've only made our way though China and Japan, but I've found most of the hostels to be incredibly accomodating. One owner went so far as to cinch her baby's own bicycle seat to the bike my husband was renting, which enabled out to pedal out miles into the countryside with our little guy! Our trouble with tour groups has been the constant up-sell factor. The group tour in Xi'an that was arranged for us to see the Terra Cotta Warriors made a lengthy pit stop in a Chinese souvenir factory where we were expected to buy, buy, buy. Instead, our son seized the opportunity to run wild through the joint, and nearly overturned about a dozen Ming vase fakes.

  12. Megan on September 24, 2009 at 1:43 p.m.

    I've traveled pretty extensively with my young kids (now 5 and 1). I have done travel domestically and internationally, short trips to a month abroad, did European delivery on a car with toddler in tow, rented apartments and houses in different countries, etc.

    I do have a great story about how an airline went way, way above and beyond to accommodate our family and our kids.

    I do also have a few pet peeves...

  13. Debbie on September 24, 2009 at 8:10 p.m.

    Wow! What great stories - I wish I was writing this article myself ;)